The Road Raper


The West Coast is known for their awesome custom bikes and builders by many around the world, but I think more and more people are starting to take notice of the Texas Native builders and vintage chops roaming the roads of the Texas highways. I have been around the chopper scene in and around Dallas for some years now and still find it very interesting when I see a simple, but clean chop for the first time. That is the case when I met Ray Byrd and his killer 1974 Ironhead chopper at Just Kickers a few years ago. This guy lives and breathes vintage motorcycles and with similar passions, he and I sat down to discuss the incarnation of his bike.



It all started about four years ago when Ray bought the bike bone stock and after a year he quickly got the itch to build a custom bike. It was easy for Ray to decide who he would have build the bike for him, which was Jim Harper, owner of Jims Choppers in Fort Worth, Texas. They discussed a game plan and for the next two years while Ray was out of state working, he gave Jim open reigns to do his magic on the stock bike. Jim turned the stock frame into a hard tail, which extended the bike around 4 inches for a little added stretch. He then moved on to making a custom oil bag to fit the frame, followed by some custom bars, sissy bar, seat pan and modified fender to finish the deal. I know Jim personally and he is an amazing builder with some out of the box ideas that complement each and every bike he turns out of his shop, so the craftsmanship he put into this amazing build was no surprise. Once the fab work was completed, Ray had Scott Hoepker of Chemical Candy Customs spray some amazing paint on the tins to close the deal and add a 70’s vibe to the overall look of the bike.



Ray can be seen riding this bike around the DFW area almost daily since it is his only means of transportation at the moment. He mentions he loves the open road and the feel of old iron rumbling down the North Texas highways. Ray plans on starting another build soon and says that his passion for vintage bikes keeps growing from day to day.



Owner name, location: Ray Byrd Fort Worth, TX.


Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1974 Ironhead Sportster Chop.


Frame: Modified stock Sportster Frame.



Fork:  4” over 35mm with shaved legs.


Chassis mods:  Hardtail Frame


Tire/wheel size and style:  18” Rear with Dunlop vintage tire and 21” Chrome Spool wheel with Avon Speed Master



Favorite thing about this bike:  Custom Horshoe Oil Bag


Next modification will be: That’s a wrap!



Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc:  Fab work done by Jim Harper of Jims Choppers and the custom paint done by Scott Hoepker from Chemical Candy Customs.



If you would like to see more pictures of Ray’s bike and get some insight into his day to day life, you can follow him on Instagram @bornuponaburritto81.

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Comment with Chopcult (11)

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 10:14 am

Diggin it. Great paint.

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 10:22 am

The stance is perfect! nice Bike

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 11:11 am

ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! My Dream project is a 74 iron and it would look close to this!

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 12:07 pm

Sweet iron!

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 01:18 pm

Congrats Ray and Jim.

I'll say it again...perfect stance.

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 05:18 pm

those bars are dope

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 07:18 pm

Nice name !

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 07:20 pm

And clean paint job

Commented on 3-31-2014 At 11:31 pm

Road raper, eh? The stance is perfect.

Commented on 4-1-2014 At 06:59 am

It was easy for Ray to decide who he would have build the bike for him

Commented on 4-2-2014 At 07:56 am

It was way to decide especially considering I work for Jim at Jim's chopper shop, and I'm a young guy being taught the ways by an amazing friend and builder in Jim Harper! So thanks for the love guys and thanks for the hate as well. Everybody's gotta start somewhere. Thanks chopcult and Lisa Ballard for running my bike!

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